The quote of the day is presented by Guns.com.
Opponents of gun-ownership constraints focus on what political scientists call “negative freedom,” which suggests government restrictions on behavior are unwarranted. Seldom does the gun control debate take account of “positive freedom,” which strives to offer a rich menu of options to its beneficiaries.
Alone on his island, Robinson Crusoe had unlimited negative freedom, but virtually no positive freedom, since there was nothing to do but enjoy the weather and search for coconuts. Both types of freedom are valuable, but there are trade-offs between them. Governments often place constraints on behavior (restrict negative liberty) to enhance the positive freedom of others.
For example, if I own a lakefront property or a houseboat, I can legally prevent you from camping in my front yard or walking uninvited onto my houseboat. With the government’s consent and its substantial enforcement capabilities, I can constrain the rights of thousands of my fellow Kentuckians (restrict their negative freedom) to enhance my capacity to enjoy my own property (positive freedom).
All of us face uncountable numbers of restrictions, constraints, and regulations designed to protect what are called “property rights.” Without them, theft, anarchy, and chaos would corrupt our way of life. The Declaration of Independence stated boldly that Americans have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Can there be a more important “property right” than the right to your own life?
When an innocent school child is shot dead in the classroom or a young mother is killed in a Walmart because assault-weapon owners are “exercising their Second-Amendment rights,” negative freedom has won an unjustified and immoral victory over positive freedom. A lifetime of possibilities is instantaneously destroyed to “protect” what amounts to a single person’s whim. To argue that this is something the Founding Fathers would have found an acceptable trade-off is the essence of a delusion.
Politicians need to stop hiding behind the “negative freedoms” supposedly supported by the Second Amendment, stand up for positive freedom, and take actions to prevent the senseless slaughter caused by the easy availability of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
– Donald R. Mullineaux in Your freedom to own a gun can’t outweigh my freedom to live a life